Date : 28 September - 29 September 2019 Location: studio, 4th floor
By Activity Department, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
28th September 2019, 18.00 – 19.30 hrs. (including post show talk and presentation after the play)
29th September 2019, 15.00 - 16.30 hrs.
Freedom Theatre is where people with and without disabilitiesbuild the stage together. As we continue to perform, we seek to find a new form of ‘freedom’ in which people with and without disabilitiessupport each other and live side by side.
This is the second year that our short plays go on tour. These short plays were written by a young American contemporary playwright on the subject of ‘disability’. They are simple and require no big sets or lighting. We will be touring various places in Tottori Prefecture. We hope to meet new audiences there.
Artistic Director of BIRD Theatre Company TOTTORI: Makoto Nakashima
‘Welcome To Walmart', written by Samuel Hunter
‘After Breakfast, Maybe’, written by Bekah Brunstetter
Producer: Makoto Nakashima
Cast: Yuta Itani, Hikaru Shimada, Yoriaki Saito, Junko Okawa, Hitoshi Takahashi, Maya Yasuda
**Duration: 70 minutes (1 hour 30 minutes including post show talk and presentation by Makoto Nakashima)
**Age Restrictions: None
**On-stage sign language interpretation available *depending on audience demographics
About the play
‘Welcome To Walmart’
A man named Toby who is missing an arm, and a woman named Marie who is in a wheelchair, both work as greeters at Walmart, the world’s largest supermarket. It’s Toby’s first day of work, and he is unhappy that he has been made a greeter because of his disability. He becomes self-conscious ofthe way the customers react towards him. On the other hand, Marie who has been doing this job for many years tries to talk Toby around by sharing her experience but…
‘After Breakfast, Maybe’
It’s morning. Rain falls outside and the occasional thunder rumbles. A boy in a wheelchair and his mother sit around the table. The boy is glued to the Internet, and the mother tries to offer him her special pancakes but he refuses. She asks him what he is looking up, and her son replies, ‘the way to conquer the world’. Concerned, the mother starts talking about her feelings, and their anger, irritation and worries rise to the surface.
About the Freedom Theatre Project
The Freedom Theatre is a project by the BIRD TheatreCompany TOTTORI (referred to as BIRD Theatre) that started in August 2013. Here, people with and without disabilities build the stage together, discover each other’s affluence that tends to be hidden in daily life, and share them with the audience. The name was chosen so people can think of human freedom. The Kanji characters for “freedom” (“Jiyu” in Japanese) are “自”, from “自分” (self), followed by “由”, from “理由” (reason). Thus, in Japanese, “freedom” means to act based on one’s intention, making oneself the basis for one’s actions. The project promotes art creation by valuing the self-determination of people with disabilities. This year marks the theater’s fourth year of activity. Every year, the theater publicly seeks participants and establishes a mixture of the incumbent and new participants.
The theater is a collaborative art that requires trust and deep engagement among actors and between actors and staff. Everybody agrees that co-existence is an ideal social condition. However, our society has not understood its actual manifestation and the specific future vision that needs to be materialized. Freedom Theatre’s stage gives its audience a glimpse of a mutualistic society that must be built by the community.
About the BIRD Theatre Company TOTTORI
The theater was established in 2006 and is helmed by Makoto Nakashima. In Shikano Town of the Tottori City, located in the mountainous area of Tottori Prefecture, which is the least-populated prefecture in Japan, an abandoned kindergarten and elementary school complex was renovated to be a theater facility with the capacity of 200 people in the “theatre” and 80 people in the “studio” rooms. As it is run by a theater group, the theater focuses on the creation and performance of contemporary plays and holds high-quality performances from Japan and abroad, exchange events with theater performers, exchanges with other art genres, as well as various educational activities. Also, since 2008, the theater has been holding the “BIRD Theatre Festival” every September, in collaboration with the regional communities and the government. The year 2007 marked the 10th anniversary of this event. The theater received the 2011 Japan Foundation’s Global Citizenship Award. In cooperation with the government of Tottori Prefecture, the Freedom Theatre Project has been running since 2013 as a project to explore and show new possibilities of theaters in the society.
Profile of Makoto Nakashima
Makoto Nakashima is a stage director and is the director of the BIRD Theatre. He was born in 1966 and graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo in 1990. He started acting when he was a university student and became the leader of a Tokyo-based theater group after he graduated. Nakashima was affiliated with the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center since 2004 for 1.5 years. He started the “BIRD Theatre” in 2006 to transform abandoned schools into theaters in Tottori. He aims to show the real potential of theater, a cultural apparatus with more than 2000 years of history, to the society and to spread the profound values of theatrical performances and halls. He has been involved in the pursuit of artistic values and art dissemination activities, as well as in the regional promotion and education fields. He received the Best Director Award at the 2003 Toga Stage Director Contest and was the recipient of the 2007 Tottori City Cultural Award. In 2010, he was awarded the New Comer Award at the Art Award of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology and in 2015, he received the Tottori Prefecture Cultural Achievement Award. He serves as the leader of the Japanese committee of the BeSeTo Theater Festival.
The performances are part of Thailand and Japan ART BRUT: Figure of Unknown Beauty Exhibition.
For more information, please contact
Activity Department, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Tel. 02 214 6630 ext. 530